A Transformational Moment in My Life

Linda Lowe

Office of Institutional Advancement

I was already nervous when I came for my second interview at Chestnut Hill College. During my first visit, I quickly became aware that this is where I needed and wanted to work. As I walked up the path from the parking lot, I had butterflies in my stomach as I mentally prepared my answers for what I thought would be the “usual” interview questions so often asked.

An unexpected component of my day was a personal interview with the College President. Though I had been told I would be meeting with Sister Carol, this was a definitely not a usual component in the interview process as I had known it at other institutions.

As I quietly gathered my thoughts and my nerves, I realized this was the first time, I ever met the “President” at the beginning of my employment. In fact, I could think of several institutions where I never even met the President. So, I found it hard to understand why the College President would wish to take time out of her very busy schedule to meet with me.

She invited me into her office and after introductions we settled into a very comfortable and enjoyable conversation. Her charisma, warmth and keen intelligence was quickly apparent. I sat there and thought to myself how lucky I would be to work under such a visionary and compassionate leader. The breadth of her knowledge and her network was so impressive, that I was quite sorry when the interview ended. I wanted our talk to continue for at least another hour.

Since my first meeting with Sister Carol I remain in awe of her. I never miss the chance to share with others how she stops in the hallways to greet students, faculty and staff by name. She always makes the time for a genuine conversation with everyone. She never misses an opportunity to say thank you, or to ask how you are or a member of your family. Sister Carol is truly a Renaissance College President. While handling some of the most difficult challenges a college president could face, she remained steadfast to the Mission of the College: commitment to transformative holistic education, just relationships, innovative thinking, and responsible action toward a more unified global society and sustainable Earth.

I am grateful to have been a member of her team. Her legacy will continue long after her retirement at the College. For me, I have grown both personally and professionally, thanks to Sister Carol Jean Vale, Ph.D.